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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Rebuttal to Huffington Post's "Right Wing Attacks Climate Scientist with Outrageous Spindoctoring"

Kevin Grandia, managing editor of the left-wing anti-global warming skeptic website DeSmogBlog, has posted an article on the Huffington Post about our exposure (along with that of others) of Michael Mann's $541,184 grant from federal stimulus funds.

Kevin must have known the article was fundamentally incorrect when he submitted it to the Huffington Post.

The post, entitled "Right wing attacks climate scientist with outrageous spindoctoring," can be read here. It was actually written by one of Kevin's DeSmogBlog writers, Mitchell Anderson, and appeared on DeSmogBlog at http://tinyurl.com/desmogblog on Friday.

Because the Huffington Post is one of the most highly-trafficked websites in the world, and Kevin/Mitchell's article there was so off-the-wall wrong, I posted a comment on the Huffington Post correcting the basic facts. The comment, which makes the most sense if you read the Huffington Post piece first, is:
Kevin Grandia and Mitchell Anderson embarrass themselves with lines such as "How they arrived at this $450,000 error is unknown - it is puzzling when such free market capitalists clearly can't operate a calculator..."

Mitchell and Kevin are talking about the wrong grant, and Kevin, at minimum, must have known this before he posted this here. Their article here links to the National Center for Public Policy Research (which employs me) press release (partially reprinted by Friskaliberal.com, also linked to here), which calls for a return of a grant of $541,184.

Kevin wrote us Thursday to ask about the grant. We IDed the grant for him as National Science Foundation award #0902133, which is for $541,184.

So Kevin knew, before posting this here, that "the climate denial echo chamber" (as he so charmingy calls us) wasn't talking about an entirely different, $770,000 grant to Penn State/ U of HI, of which Mann received a small portion.

The real story: in June 2009, Penn State accepted a $541,184 grant, to cover three years, to Michael Mann's work. Climategate then exploded. Apparently believing Climategate to be serious, Penn State opened an investigation into Mann's work. Our position is that under these circumstances, the grant should be returned to the National Science Foundation, so the funds can be awarded to another scientist.

Kevin and Mitchell seem to think this would be awful. I'm not sure why. Maybe just because we're the ones who suggested it.
Addendum, 1/17/10: Apparently AlterNet has posted this as well. Why aren't these very major websites doing even superficial fact-checking before they publish pieces?

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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:35 AM

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